Bob Schumacher’s inspirational career recognized with 2015 Herb Wegner Memorial Award

NCUF Recognizing Schumacher with Award for Lifetime Achievement

MADISON, WI (October 21, 2014) — In recognition of a career that has touched every corner of the credit union movement, as well as his inspiring work with credit union leadership programs, both in the U.S. and overseas, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is pleased to announce Bob Schumacher, retired President and CEO of MountainCrest Credit Union, as the recipient of a 2015 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Schumacher’s award will be one of four Herb Wegner Memorial Awards presented at a special dinner hosted by NCUF at the Marriott Marquis Washington on March 9th, 2015, on-site at the Credit Union National Association’s 2015 Governmental Affairs Conference. Registration for dinner tickets and sponsorships will be available within the next few weeks on the NCUF website (

“Bob is one of the most dedicated and devoted followers of the credit union philosophy who has worked on all levels of the movement,” said John Gregoire, Chair of NCUF Wegner Awards Selection Committee and President of The ProCon Group. “His impact particularly on Foundation programs such as the Community Investment Fund, Biz Kid$ and the Credit Union Development Education Program is beyond belief. Anyone who has had the opportunity to be touched by Bob’s contagious energy and enthusiasm comes away a more committed individual.”

A Career-long Impact on the Credit Union Movement
Throughout an illustrious credit union career spanning over 35 years, Schumacher has always prioritized his mission to improve people’s financial lives, whether through his eight years at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), twelve years at the credit union leagues in Washington and Florida, two years at a mortgage CUSO or the fifteen years at MountainCrest Credit Union in Washington. As President and CEO of MountainCrest CU, he not only had a direct impact on the financial lives of his members, but led his staff through a successful merger, relocation and name change.

Schumacher has also helped several credit unions and non-profit foundations, both as a professional Senior Consultant through The Paragon Group and as a pro-bono volunteer. He has served on the National Credit Union Foundation Board, the Washington Credit Union Foundation Board (including Chair), the FSCC shared branching network Board, the Northwest Corporate Federal Credit Union’s Board, Snohomish County Junior Achievement Board, as Chair of the National Credit Union Foundation’s Awards and Recognition Committee – as well as a member of their Fundraising Committee – and in many additional leadership roles within the credit union movement.

In 2002, Schumacher was recognized with a CUNA Marketing Council’s Hall of Fame Award, and in 2006, with the Washington Credit Union League’s Ambassador Award.

“Bob has had a long lasting impact on so many people in the credit union industry,” said Mark W. Morrison, President/CEO, MountainCrest Credit Union. “No matter where I travel, I always have someone say how much they adore Bob. Many people tell me stories about how they were inspired by Bob in developing and advancing their careers. Bob has made me and countless others proud to be able to say that we are able to be a small part of his life.”

A Cornerstone of NCUF’s Development Education Program
Schumacher has long been an active supporter and promoter of the National Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union Development Education (DE) Program. Having contributed heavily to the program’s early planning as CUNA’s liaison with the National Youth Involvement Board, he attended the program himself in 2001 and became an officially certified Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE), amplifying his strong passion for the program and the credit union movement as a whole.

Since then he has been an unwavering advocate for both DE and its purpose of inspiring cooperative principle-based decision making and cooperative-based solution exploration. He has been involved with over 12 DE trainings as a facilitator, mentor, or speaker since becoming a DE, reaching well over 600 DEs with the message and purpose of credit unions – as well as several hundred additional DEs through annual workshops and meetings.

Schumacher was involved in the inaugural formation of the Credit Union Development Education Advisory Council, and was immediately and unanimously elected Chair by his colleagues, where he served from 2010 till 2013. In 2013, he received the Credit Union Development Education’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Bob co-facilitated the CUDE training session I attended in 2008, and it was at that time that I came to know him as a true credit union leader,” commented Lily Newfarmer, President/CEO of Tarrant County Credit Union. “The genuine passion and dedication that he exhibited in that role not only increased my experience as an attendee, but also re-ignited my own commitment to our movement.”

A Resolute Vision for Filipino Credit Union Leaders
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Schumacher worked alongside the projects Chief of Party, Lois Kitsch, to help create the CUES-Philippines’ Credit Union Training & Education Foundation (CUTE) program. This program provided credit unions throughout the Philippines with a training curriculum centered around prudent financial disciplines, purpose-driven sustainability and much-needed methodology models.

Taking his vision a step further, Schumacher worked with the Washington Credit Union League (now the Northwest CU Association), to start their first-ever International Development Committee, which he chaired for over 3 years. The committee orchestrated two learning and assistance tours to the Philippines and the CUES Philippines Project so that others could learn first-hand how the program worked.

Seeing continuing opportunities to pursue his vision, Schumacher then worked with the WCUL International Development Committee to form a formal partnership of support with the WOCCU CUES Philippine Project that lasted over four years and facilitated several tours, allowing CUES Project leaders to visit the US and learn from the successes of strong credit unions. Many of those leaders have since gone on to lead international projects in key roles, often crediting their career advancement to those tours and that partnership.

“Bob personifies what credit unions are all about: people helping people help themselves,” said Luis Sasuman, former Chief of Staff at CUES Philippines. “Bob is an ambassador representing credit union innovation giving opportunities to those who are economically marginalized, particularly in our corner of the globe, the Philippines.”

Key Supporter of Biz Kid$ Programming
Schumacher holds a strong belief that people improve their own financial lives with the help of quality financial education. Through this belief, he became a tireless champion and early advocate for the nationally broadcasted youth entrepreneurial and financial education PBS television program entitled Biz Kid$.

Schumacher recognized the potential of this program early on and, thanks to his instinctive negotiation and relationship building skills, is credited as playing an instrumental role in bringing together the similarly-valued but diverse worlds of public television and the credit union movement. Today, Biz Kid$ is a nationally recognized, Emmy award-winning program, and Schumacher is the proud holder of a Biz Kid$ Contributor Award.

“Bob became a stalwart champion of the project ‘Biz Kid$’ in so many ways,” said Jamie Hammond, Biz Kid$ Executive Producer. “He worked with us to build awareness of Biz Kid$ and all the resources that the project has developed to teach financial literacy and entrepreneurship education to the youth of our country. He immediately understood the synergy of our mission with the mission of the credit union movement to improve the lives of their members and their families and empower them to take charge of their financial lives.”

An Eye for Conscientious Credit Union Investment
Shortly after the introduction of the Community Investment Fund (CIF) by the National Credit Union Foundation, Bob saw the potential of this investment and its three-way benefit for credit unions, state credit union foundations and the National Credit Union Foundation. Along with strong league support, he made it his personal mission to help grow CIF investments by Northwest credit unions to $15 million.

He met that goal within a four-year timeframe by meeting one-on-one with over 20 credit union CFOs throughout Washington, Idaho and Oregon. He also spoke at countless chapter meetings and events, and staffed booths at several state league conventions to both introduce the fund and to help educate about its benefits. The biggest obstacle he faced was helping credit unions to see the value in their contributions; he was able to overcome this obstacle using his strong national and international knowledge of credit union foundations to present this fund as a great way for credit union leaders to make a huge difference in people’s financial lives.

“Bob is a kind, selfless, and powerful force of nature,” said Brent Dixon, Founder of The Habdash and former Filene Research Institute Advisor. “He’s given his life to building something that is bigger than a single person, credit union, or community. To spend time with him is to see what it means to make the world a better place through every day actions. He wakes me up.”

About the Herb Wegner Memorial Awards:
The awards are named in honor of the late Credit Union National Association CEO Herb Wegner, whose tireless dedication, innovative ideas and deeds truly revolutionized the ways that credit unions serve their communities.  The awards that bear Wegner’s name recognize his spirit of “innovative, creative, risk-taking” leadership. View past award recipients here.

About the National Credit Union Foundation (
The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) is the charitable arm of the US credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes. Donations to the Foundation enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom.

The National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. NCUF continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.

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